We would like to add that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as Chair of the ASEAN-EAS Summit called on the forum to be open, inclusive, outward-looking.
The President highlighted maritime cooperation as a new area of cooperation of the EAS Summit.
PRRD saw the importance of promoting infrastructure development to facilitate trade, investment and service competitiveness and cited the Philippines’ Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Plan.
The President stressed the need for cooperation in addressing regional security issues, especially the menace of illegal drugs, terrorism, violent extremism, and human trafficking. He said better collaboration among ASEAN member states could prevent the Islamic State from gaining foothold in the region.
On the South China Sea issue, PRRD cited that the ASEAN and China agreed to start discussions on the Code of Conduct. He added that the situation in the South China Sea has improved considerably. He said it is important to have a more peaceful resolution for the maintenance of peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation and overflight in or above the South China Sea.
President Duterte also made mention of ASEAN’s regional economic integration. He said economic empowerment is the key driver towards regional growth. He said ASEAN member states and their partners continue to realize the important potentials of micro, small, and medium enterprises.
PRRD likewise expressed grave concern on the situation in the Korean peninsula saying it is a major flashpoint in the region and strongly urged DPRK to immediately comply with its obligations and arrive at relevant resolutions. He also expressed support for initiatives to improve territorial relations to establish permanent and lasting peace in the Korean peninsula.
The President concluded the meeting by expressing his deepest gratitude to participating states for their active participation in making the Philippines’ Chairmanship of ASEAN a success.